Conference 2017


Conference on Global Production

6-8th December 2017, National University of Singapore

The Global Production Networks Research Centre at the National University of Singapore (GPN@NUS) is pleased to announce that it will host the inaugural interdisciplinary ‘Conference on Global Production’ in December 2017.


Global production networks – understood as organizationally and geographically fragmented global production systems coordinated by powerful lead firms – have now become the key structural foundation of the contemporary global economy and the primary shaper of its highly variegated economic development outcomes. The study of this phenomenon, also commonly referred to as global value chains, has become a highly vibrant and truly global interdisciplinary research field encompassing economic geography, international economics, economic sociology, political science, international political economy, development studies and international business studies, and one that has increasing purchase and relevance among international organizations and other important policy audiences.


This conference is intended to bring together the research community studying fragmented global production systems in a cutting-edge dialogue that is both truly global and genuinely interdisciplinary. The intention is to generate intense and productive conversations across the interconnected domains of theory, empirics, methodology and policy in a conference that is thematically organised as opposed to being structured along disciplinary lines.

Conference themes

Encompassing, but not limited to, the following:

• Global production networks and uneven regional development

• The origins and evolution of global production networks

• Firm-to-firm trade and participation in global production networks

• Boundaries of the firm in global production networks

• Transnational corporations and global production networks

• Fragmentation of production and trade in value-added

• Innovation and technological trajectories in global production networks

• Varieties of national organization, institutions, and global production networks

• Governance of global production networks

• The regulatory effects of global production networks

• The (geo)politics of global production networks

• Global production networks and international security

• Global production networks and contentious politics

• The labour process and global production networks

• Global production networks and stratification in the world economy

• Global production networks, environmental standards and sustainability

• Economic, social and environmental upgrading in global production networks

• Global production networks and consumption dynamics

• Financing/financializing global production networks

• The role of services in global production networks

• Methodology in the study of global production networks

• Policy applications and implications of global production networks


GPN@NUS is a cross-department research centre in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences that is funded by a US$4m grant from the National University of Singapore and which launched a four year research programme in October 2014. Bringing together a team of 20 academics and affiliated researchers from economic geography, economic sociology, political science and international trade economics, our work endeavours to understand the configuration of global production structures (a.k.a. global production networks/global value chains) and their impacts on economic development across Asia. Research is ongoing on the auto, electronics, finance, logistics, and oil and gas sectors. The Centre is co-directed by Henry Yeung and Neil Coe. For more on our activities, see:

Confirmed speakers

Richard Appelbaum (University of California, Santa Barbara)

Jennifer Bair (University of Virginia)

Stephanie Barrientos (University of Manchester)

Lee Branstetter (Carnegie Mellon University)

Gavin Bridge (Durham University)

Dieter Ernst (East-West Center, Hawaii)

Gary Gereffi (Duke University)

Martin Hess (University of Manchester)

Patrick Low (Graduate Institute, Geneva)

Layna Mosely (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)

John Pickles (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)

Stefano Ponte (Copenhagen Business School)

John Ravenhill (University of Waterloo)

Adrian Smith (Queen Mary, University of London)

Shang-Jin Wei (Asian Development Bank/Columbia University)

Yuqing Xing (National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, Tokyo)

Conference organizing committee

Neil Coe (co-chair; Geography, NUS)

Henry Yeung (co-chair; Geography, NUS)

Aidan Wong (coordinator; GPN@NUS)

Davin Chor (Economics, NUS)

Soo Yeon Kim (Political Science, NUS)

Solee Shin (Sociology, NUS)

Dione Ng (GPN@NUS)

Sagarika Senapaty (GPN@NUS)

Registration timeline

• Submission of paper/session proposals: 1st May 2017.

• Confirmation of acceptance by conference (including provision of acceptance letter, if required): 1st June 2017.

• Payment of non-refundable conference fee by participants: 1st August 2017. The conference fee – which will cover registration costs, lunches, and tea and coffee – will be in the region of US$100/S$150. Further details on the payment process will follow shortly.

Submission process

There will be two modes of paper/session submission:

Individual paper submissions: participants should submit an abstract of up to 250 words along with their name, affiliation, and contact details, and should also identify up to three themes from the above list that their proposed paper best aligns with. Such submissions will subsequently be assembled into complete sessions by the Conference Organizing Committee.

Organized sessions (all sessions will be 90 minutes long):

    o Paper sessions: organisers should submit a proposal with the above information for up to four paper presentations around a clearly identified theme that is identified in the session title. The proposal should also briefly explain its relevance for the conference. Paper sessions that foster inter-disciplinary conversation are particularly encouraged.

    o Panel sessions: organisers should submit the name, affiliation and contact details of up to four speakers as well as a short description (150 words) of the theme of the panel. Again, panel sessions that foster inter-disciplinary conversation are particularly encouraged.

All correspondence should be sent to our conference email address:

Early career grants

Up to five grants of US$1500 will be awarded to advanced PhD students and postdoctoral researchers who have limited access to alternative funding. Participants who wish to be considered for these awards should identify themselves at the time of abstract submission (1st May 2017 deadline) and provide a short statement detailing how they would benefit from this award.

Further details

All information pertaining to the conference will be made available on our website:


Please direct any enquiries to the Conference Secretary, Aidan Wong (


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